Like a Mutt That Won’t Stop Barking

Do you remember the days, back in the 1990s, of the AOL (America Online) CD-ROMs?

They came in the mail at least half a dozen times, as I can remember. They were available in mass quantities for free at any electronics or computer big box store. Sometimes, even grocery stores had displays proclaiming – “GET ONLINE FREE for the FIRST MONTH – Here’s your free CD-ROM to get started!”

It got to the point where people were cobbling together creative memes about what to do with them. Coasters. Artwork. Even frisbees. They became a joke, one which prompted most internet users to roll their eyes and keep walking past the display.

Black Lives Matter – the organization, not the statement – and the in-your-face social justice activists are the AOL CD-ROMs of the 2020s. But unlike the AOL marketing strategy, the CD-ROM of the 2020s creates social division while at the same time diluting the crucial message of racial equality and unity.

We see this manifested most glaringly in professional sports. The NBA has seen its television ratings tank while players spend as much time sending messages of social justice as they do playing basketball. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that all teams will have social justice messages in the stadium end zones, proclaiming “End Racism” and “It Takes All of Us.” Players are being encouraged to put stickers of “victims” of racial inequality or alleged racial violence on their helmets and even their workout gear. 

So how is this bad? Is not the message of “End Racism” a good one? Of course, it is. It’s something we all need to keep in our minds and hearts as we actively push ourselves to be the best human beings that we are capable of being.

But we can’t let these messages – and protests – become the diet that we consume each day in all aspects of our lives. If the example of the tanking ratings of pro sports didn’t make the point clear enough, let’s talk about meatloaf for a moment.

You may love meatloaf. It might be your favorite food. And indeed, it’s a great meal when served along with vegetables and a side of potatoes. You might even want to eat it more than once a week because it’s so good.

What happens, though, when you are staring down at meatloaf for every meal, three meals a day, seven days a week? It might have a different flavor to add some variety. Sometimes it might have onions and spice; other times, it might be onion-free. But it’s still meatloaf.

After a while, you’d probably get tired of meatloaf and would eventually say, “I’m done with meatloaf. I don’t even want to look at it. I will never eat meatloaf again.”

Social justice activists are starting to face something similar. People are experiencing crisis fatigue due to the ongoing, in-your-face strategy of rioting and looting by so-called peaceful protesters, coupled with the constant stress of pandemic restrictions. The masses are looking for an escape from it all, yet the bombardment of negativity and violence never ceases.

Most Americans want to care and want to see improvements in the social order but they also need diversity, the vacuous term these activists claim they embrace. The need exists for all people to unplug from the same thing and take a break. It’s the reason DVRs were created and are so widely successful, so the person watching television can “skip past” the same Charmin or Limu Emu commercial they’ve seen a thousand times. 

And what happens when people see the same thing over and over again? What is the eventual reaction?

Will the sentiment of, “Geez, I HATE these damned commercials. I’ll never support that product again,” become “Geez, I hate these people and have had enough of their crap. Time to turn it off?” Like a yapping chihuahua, some people don’t know when to shut up and everyone else just stops trying to figure out what they were barking about in the first place.

I thought HATE is what these organizations and activists were trying to prevent.  

This article was written by Walt the Curmudgeon. It will be followed by an article called “When Assholes Collide,” (maybe, it’s not original but I don’t know who wrote it first) which talks about the reasons the protesters need to accept incrementalism rather than immediate social change, as awful as that sounds. 


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